An e-mail written by a senior FBI agent in Iraq in 2004 specifically stated that President George W. Bush had signed an Executive Order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.
The FBI e-mail--dated May 22, 2004--followed disclosures about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and sought guidance on whether FBI agents in Iraq were obligated to report the U.S. military’s harsh interrogation of inmates when that treatment violated FBI standards but fit within the guidelines of a presidential Executive Order.
The FBI e-mail was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The White House had emphatically denied that any such presidential Executive Order existed, calling the unnamed FBI official who wrote the e-mail “mistaken.”
The ACLU has called on Congress to demand that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate whether the President and other officials broke federal and international laws, “including the War Crimes Act, the federal Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws.”
President Bush and his representatives have denied repeatedly that the administration condones “torture,” although senior administration officials have acknowledged subjecting “high-value” terror suspects to aggressive interrogation techniques, including the “waterboarding” — or simulated drowning — of three al-Qaeda detainees.